As of 2017, there are 11.5 million hunters in the US and each one has a definite opinion about which rifle and ammo to use while deer hunting. When it comes to deer hunting, old timers like me swear by their grandpappy’s tried and true Winchester. While the tech savvy community leans toward guns with bells and whistles that render the shooter nearly invisible and promise high accuracy, long-range trajectory.
The fact is that there are so many offerings online and in gun stores that it can be overwhelming, particularly to the hunting newbie. Let’s look at what there is to offer on the market today.
As I do every year, I attended the 2018 SHOT Show to see what kind of toys I could add to my collection. If you’ve never been, the SHOT Show is like a candy store for hunters. This year they unveiled a group of rifles that would suit everyone from the 16-year-old newbie to the dyed in the wool sportsman.
At a suggested retail price of $4,100, this beauty is sure to become a family heirloom. Weatherby has spruced up its Mark V Classic with increased accuracy. It has a 64% reduction in weight, and a carbon-fiber wrapped barrel.
This easy on the wallet bolt-action rifle is built for durability and lightweight accuracy and can be purchased for MSRP $440. The Patriot has been on the market for three years and is a top choice for those hunting in rough weather due to its stainless steel finish. As in years past, this version includes an adjustable Lightning Bolt Action trigger.
Women and younger shooters often have a hard time of finding a good fit in a rifle. The XPR Hunter Compact solves that problem. At MSRP $599.99, this rifle offers a shorter barrel and it weighs in a 6 lbs. 12 oz. Winchester’s “inflex technology recoil pad” reduces recoil and the M.O.A. trigger system gives hunters high accuracy.
Staring at $2,099 MSRP, the X-Bolt is a top notch rifle with long range performance. Making it good big game hunts. The lightweight 2018 model features a rotary magazine, feather adjustable trigger, 26-inch heavy-sporter fluted threaded barrel, and a muzzle brake designed to reduce recoil.
The Predator is a good choice for hunters wanting to tackle a wide range of game. Its customizable Accufit stock and improved fit reduce recoil. This also improves accuracy while the oversized bolt knob allows for fast cycling without removing one’s gloves. This 8.25 – 8.69 lb. rifle starts at $899 MSRP.
AT MSRP $2,095 the Tactical Hunter is one of the newest options offered by Wilson Combat. As an AR-platform rifle, the .458 was designed to be the most powerful rifle on the market. It exceeds the energy of most common big bore cartridges. Measuring 34.25” long, the Tactical Hunter weighs in at 7 lb. 11 oz.